The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday said the State is more than ready to take the driving seat for the development of Tourism, Arts and Entertainment in Africa.
Ambode said this on a programme on Ben TV in the United Kingdom as a prelude to the ongoing Notting Hill Carnival.
He said his administration in the last 27 months has made concerted efforts to fulfill one of his campaign promises to ensure that Lagos becomes the tourism and entertainment hub of Africa.
The Governor, who was represented at the programme by his Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, said his administration was seriously implementing project T.H.E.S.E., an acronym for Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sporting Excellence, to boost tourism, employment generation and relaxation, especially for the youth.
He said: “Under project T.H.E.S.E, we are resolved to grow the Lagos economy and empower the youth through several alternative means which include the tactical promotion of tourism, entertainment and sports.
“Our intention is to put Lagos on the world map as one of the top 10 tourist destinations because we know that the hospitality and entertainment business is thriving and that is the reason we are investing heavily on this sector. The truth is that the era of white collar job is over. The ultimate now is to encourage youth entrepreneurship and create a platform for our youths below 35 who are the future of tomorrow; because when they are engaged meaningfully they would contribute their quota towards increasing the IGR of the State.”
Ambode also restated his commitment to build five new arts theatres across the State as part of efforts to engage the youths and promote tourism through arts and entertainment.
The Governor said the decision to participate in the Notting Hill Carnival holding from August 26 to 28, was to keep with the tradition of showcasing the State’s entertainment and tourism potentials to the world.
He said this year’s edition also coincided with the Lagos 50th Anniversary celebration, adding that it would also offer opportunity to woo Nigerians in diaspora and tourists alike to visit Lagos.
Ambode said: “We are here again this year, the second year running in a global platform which the Notting Hill Carnival represents as it attracts people from all over the world. Our presence here is to attract not only Lagosians, but blacks generally that Lagos is now the destination that every one of them must come to.
“Lagos is having its own corner. Nigeria does not have a corner, no African country has a corner here, we are using Lagos corner to tell the world that we are prepared to be home for entertainment and tourism because it would drive the economy of Lagos, the 24/7 economy in such a way that anytime you come to Lagos, there is something to celebrate. So we invite our brothers in the diaspora to come and exploit the beauty of Lagos.”